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Business leaders urged to increase investment, jobs

All Headlines 12:30 April 16, 2013

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top economic policymaker called on local business leaders Tuesday to expand investment and hiring in order to help revitalize the country's slowing economy.

Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok, who also serves as deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, promised that the government will work hard to resolve challenges hindering businesses from making decisions on investment.

"As you know, our economy is in a tough situation. Construction investment dropped for three consecutive years, while facility investment stayed on its downward trend for three straight quarters," Hyun said during a meeting with chiefs of the country's five major business lobby groups.

"Job growth also slowed and things are much tougher for younger people... Now is the time for the government and the business community to work together to provide jobs for our younger generations to devote their passion and grow their dreams," Hyun added.

The government is doing its best to create jobs and stimulate the economy, he said, citing the recent stimulus measures including the 17.3 trillion won extra budget the government unveiled on Tuesday.

Hyun, however, noted that the government effort itself is not enough to create high-quality jobs and stimulate the economy, calling for the business circle to step up investment and hiring.

For its part, the government will do its best to support businesses by reviewing problems deemed to be hindering investment and hiring and trying to find right solutions, he added.

"The government has repeatedly promised that it will ease regulations but sometimes I suspect that we might have just stayed in the office and looked into laws and regulations on the books," Hyun said. "We will now come out to find any suspended investment projects and put our heads together to find solutions."

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